Dennis Franchione retired from coaching on Tuesday, bringing to an end a 40 year career and adding to the quirky timing legacy he created. Franchione never really got the Bobcats of the ground and this season Texas State regressed.
Fran went 39-43 in his second stint in San Marcos. His high water mark was a 7-5 record in 2014 and this season's 3-9 finish was the crapper.
Franchione's penchant for odd timing continued to Tuesday. Two weeks after his last game, and well into the dead period, poof, he was gone. Texas State now holds the bag, a month behind everyone else in the coaching carousel.
Fran would leave Southwestern, Pittsburgh State, New Mexico, TCU, and Alabama all after conference or divisional titles.
Fran left TCU for Bama and famously attended LaDanian Tomlinson's Heisman Trophy ceremony in a crimson tie. TCU promoted a fidgety defensive coordinator who quietly built TCU into a national power.
Fran left two seasons, and an SEC West division title into his Alabama tenure for an A&M job that many viewed as a lateral move at best. Bama offered Fran a 10 year deal and though he stated publicly that he was in Tuscaloosa to stay, he caught a flight to College Station and literally never went back, leaving a decade long contract on the table and never again meeting with his Alabama squad. There was always a ladder to climb. In some direction.
At A&M Fran changed offensive philosophies on a seemingly annual basis, going from a pro-style to a zone read to a traditional option attack in five mediocre seasons. Among all the mediocrity former players complained about access, current players complained about cost cutting, and boosters were given access to private player information via coachfran.com. But Fran hit his ceiling, there was no landing place to jump. Then he landed in San Marcos.
Fran was a splashy hire a Texas State, though the results never really matched the hype. Even as losses mounted in 2015 Fran's seat never seemed to heat, then a week plus into the dead period, Fran packed up again. This time for good. Whomever replaces him will have all of a month to put together a critical first recruiting class. Impeccible timing Fran.
So who's next? Bear in mind, all a candidate can say is no, so if you're a Bobcat administrator, put your best pitch together and hit the road. Here are a few addresses we'd hit up if we were you.
Major Applewhite: Houston's OC knows the state and has an impressive resume if you can get by that whole sex scandal at UT thing.
KC Keeler: Sam Houston State's head man is fresh off an FCS semifinal run and won it all at Delaware. His up tempo offense will feed right into the Texas State recruiting base.
Chris Thomsen: The former coach at ACU was 51-21 in Abilene and oversaw a high flying offensive attack. He's now the O-line coach at Arizona State after a stop at Texas Tech. The Snyder native also coach in the Texas high school ranks.
Colby Carthell: Texas A&M Commerce's head coach is someone we championed before, he turned the Lions into a winner and has a lone star state pedigree.
The temptation could be there to promote from within, maybe OC Mike Schultz or DC Brad Franchione, we'd suggest a different approach and a clean break.